“We Won’t Forget You Brett”, a series of T-shirts in Wisconsin suggested in 2008 after quarterback Brett Favre left the Green Bay Packers in order to continue his career. Favre, who was despised at the time of his departure by many Packers fans, was welcomed back to Lambeau Field in an emotional half-time ceremony during the Thanksgiving night match-up between the Packers and Chicago Bears.
Favre shared the stage with another former Green Bay Packer Quarterback: Bart Starr. The 81-year-old who played with the Green Bay Packers during the Vince Lombardi era Starr is recovering from a heart attack and two strokes.
Favre, who looked like he was fit enough to take a few snaps, used the opportunity to note “I certainly thank God for the opportunity to play a game I love and play it for a long time and in the best place to play football in the world.”
Favre told one interviewer in 1991, when he was riding the bench as a rookie with the Atlanta Falcons that if the Packers gave him the opportunity he knew he could be “the man”. With the Packers from 1992 to 2007, he revived “Titletown USA” with an electrifying career that included setting a variety of passing and touchdown records. He not only became “the man” for the team, but a cultural figure even appearing in the 1998 film Something About Mary.
When Aaron Rodgers was drafted by the Packers in 2005, Favre’s status was complicated. Packers management eventually showed him the door, but he would play on. In 2008, Favre joined the New York Jets and played from 2009-2010 with the Minnesota Vikings. That allowed Favre to extend his professional records, including becoming the oldest quarterback to win a playoff game in NFL history.
Favre set a number of other active records, most notably his streak of 297 consecutive regular season starts. The streak stands at 321 games if playoff games are included. Two active quarterbacks, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers, each already have 160 and have a decent chance to break that record someday.
Favre’s all-time consecutive road playoff games with at least one touchdown pass (7) is shared with Joe Flacco, whose streak is active. His other notable record is all-time consecutive playoff games with at least one touchdown pass (20). Several active quarterbacks have streaks in the double-digits, including Peyton Manning (13), Drew Brees (11) and Joe Flacco (10).
Favre is also the only quarterback to win three consecutive NFL MVP awards. He is also holds the NFL record for total career regular season pass completions at 6,300.
The special Thanksgiving ceremony made Favre the first Packers alum to have his number retired and put into the Packers Hall of Fame simultaneously. Favre’s name and number were also added to a short list of Packers greats whose names appear around Lambeau Field, including Bart Starr, Tony Canadeo, Don Hutson, Ray Nitschke and Reggie White.
The 46-year-old is eligible to be inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame in 2016.